Lovin' time at Coon Hollow Farm

Lovin' time at Coon Hollow Farm
Our Olde English "Babydoll" Sheep and their lambs

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Snow Day in Connecticut!!!

Connecticut was under a blizzard watch. Many rushed to the store, got their milk and bread, gased up snow blowers and generators, getting ready to hunker down for what was said to be an epic storm. There is quite nothing more exciting and nerve racking all at the same time! This is our snow covered road to the left and to the right is the same beautiful winter scene. We live on a very bucolic road with not many neighbors, just trees!

Teddy says "just some hay and shelter is all that makes me happy!"

Sorry it's hard to take pictures of these guys! The ewes are in the store and the middle stall. They are not complaining one bit. They rode out the storm in there just fine!

The chickens had nothing better to do than stay in their coop, under the heat lamp and lay eggs! I was shocked when I saw what they had laid! We haven't gotten more than 2 to 3 eggs a day for a month from 18 chickens. So the storm was not as epic as they had predicted but it was a wonderful day off hanging out, sitting by the wood stove and knitting away.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Head and Ear Warmer Knitting Obsession!

I love when I become obsessed with a particular thing! And lately it has been knitting head and ear warmers! I have been knitting them thick...

with handspun, corespun mohair locks in a thinner ear warmer...

more corespun alpaca, merino blend...

and in a thicker larger one for those with a bigger head. Why do people ask me why I love winter so much? Sitting next to a wood burning stove with a cup of tea knitting, in my opinion, is priceless!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Making homemade suet for the wild birds!

We are under a huge freeze here in Connecticut and today I was looking out the back door, watching the wild birds at the feeders. I then realized that I didn't have any suet. They so need their fats this time of year to keep warm. I then remembered I had a container of vegetable shortening used and poured back into the container from the holidays. That was when I got the idea!

I grabbed my big cookie sheet, spread some of the shortening along the pan.

Opened the cabinet and thought about all the leftover baking supplies from the holidays.

I found a small bag of coconut flakes, not nearly enough to use in any recipe. I found some cranberries, raisins, corn meal, graham cracker crumbs...

I added some birdseed of course. Then some flour, a little sugar and whatever else I could find.

I mixed and spread it all out on the cookie sheet and baked it at 350 degrees for about a half and hour!

I then cut into squares and tomorrow morning I will put it into my suet holders for all the birds to enjoy!

Boy it's cold out there!

Hopefully our animals are cooping well out there. We have done many things to prepare them. One being the new sub floor Tim has installed to get them off the cold floor. Even though we have tons of hay down, it is a help. Frozen water is a problem too. Shelping hot water down to the buckets, keeping the chickens in the greenhouse is a help too! They are toasty in there too!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year 2015!

Happy New Year and looking forward to the year ahead. Our farm had the most  prosperous year we have ever had. We changed things up, and were quite successful doing it. However, this new year will be bringing major changes and Tim and I have a different direction we would like to go in. Our first decision is to sell our "Babydoll" sheep herd.

Our 5 generations of ewes enjoying a snack.

We wish all our followers and supporters a prosperous and healthy Happy New Year!

Monday, December 29, 2014

Some "bunny" got a new doo

Sweet boy "Fluffer" gave me all the signs the other day that he needed a haircut!

So he got one! Trimmed down to almost nothing, netting over 4 ounces of wool too! He's a good boy until you get to the belly so Tim held him on his back and we got through it just fine. With a mans sleeve cut to a perfect coat he will stay warm for now!

Friday, December 26, 2014

Bee Candy for everyone!

Making candy boards for the bees today started with boiling water...

and some sugar. To make each candy board you need 16 ounces of water and 5 lbs of sugar.

Once the water came to a boil it was time to pour the sugar in.

and then stir until dissolved, then bring the temp up to 242 degrees. Once it gets there, turn off the heat and let it lower to 180 degrees. Whip it with a mixer and then pour into...

the Candy Boards that Tim made a few years ago. The Candy is poured into these boards and some pollen patties are added in to a well as spearmint and lemon grass oils.

They are inverted onto the top of the hives to provide extra food when their honey reserves run out.

The second hive I opened had even more healthy looking girls with lots of honey reserves.

Rest easy my girls. Around February when we get a nice day, we'll recheck them and hope they do well. Fingers crossed!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Wishing you all "Hoppy" Holidays from all of us at Coon Hollow Farm! "Fluffer" and "Tawny" made this years insert that our son Timmy made for us! This was one of most successful years here on the farm! We thank you all for your support!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Filthy fleeces!

At a recent fiber festival I picked up two Mohair fleeces. I was not exactly sure what color they were. I have never seen fleeces so dirty but under the dirt I could feel the softness so I went for it and bought them.

I rinsed them in the sink and used Unicorn Scrub...

Some Unicorn Wash...

Emptied the sink and rinsed them again...

Rinsed again and again...until...

I had the most beautiful colored Angora Mohair fleece with gorgeous copper tips! I can't wait to over dye some of it and make some amazing yarns from it!

Saturday, November 29, 2014

A pumpkin snack!

Today we cleaned up the fall decorations in preparation for the holiday ones. We took a large pumpkin, broke in half and gave the gang a snack! Nigel was the first to dig in...

while old Belle lost her head over hers! Everyone enjoyed their pumpkin snack immensely! Yum!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Pepper heads home...

Today we loaded Pepper up for his journey back home. We loaded him onto the bed of the truck, placed some hay in the cage and he went right for it. Tim closed the door, strapped him in, covered him from the wind and off we went.

He knew he was home and was itching to get out.

He went right to his ewes to say hi! He was a great pleasure to have here, he is such a calm, sweet boy and we hope his lambs will be half as sweet as he is!

Meanwhile, back at the farm, the girls were all re-united and were happy to be together again. The two lamb ewes are too young and old "Belle" cannot have any more lambs, she is retired. However when the lambs arrive in Spring she helps to nurture them too!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Core Spun loveliness!!!

I was gifted this lovely "Scrapbox" of fiber from Namaste Farm and finally got to it! I use a thick cotton core. The picture really doesn't do it justice and the colors are so amazing! Such a mix of all my favorites! Now what to make with it?!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Beating the snow!

We had our first snow this morning, woke up only to a dusting but it made me harvest the last things in the garden! The sage was begging to be picked!

The oregano too!

I got some pretty amazing horseradish too! I think I will make some horseradish jelly in honor of my Grandmother who was crazy for my horseradish jelly!!!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

New England Fiber Festival adventure

This weekend I went on a wonderful adventure with some friends to the New England Fiber Festival. Our booth was ready to go.

I saw amazing creations that people where parading about.

The best part was the detail to the historical part of the fiber world! This is an antique flax break that was used to pound the flax into softness.

Quite a few folks were in period clothing and demonstrating colonial arts in fiber weaving and rendering.

A woman spinning on a period wheel...

This was "Ollie", a Border Collie enjoying the Fiber Festival. He sat at someone's booth and didn't want to leave.

A flax wheel that I had the pleasure of spinning on! I was in my glory and learned that it is all in the "spiddle" or commonly known as the spit!

A view of the shoppers and booths

This wonderful man, who I didn't get his name, spent a lot of time with me talking about flax and gave me the opportunity to spin flax! He had a very antique flax wheel and was a wealth of information.
This lady is Iris and she also spent so much time with me and taught me the Great Wheel or Walking Wheel! I was in my glory. So many get different things out of these festival, me I get history where ever I go! I had a n amazing time, saw so many friends, made new ones and spent time with old ones too!